Thursday, November 5, 2015

Get It Becky! Empire Shows Us Big Black Women Get Sex Too




Gabourey Sidibe and Mo McRae in the Empire
sex scene that has everybody talking. 

For the entire month of November I'm bringing you my Black Women & Sexual Empowerment series. Follow at #BlackWomenSexuality.

A big, dark skinned woman with her leg up was shown having some good sex on TV. Just to let you know how good her lover was working it, she said he was hitting her walls. And this happened on the rooftop of a New York building. Whaatt?? Oh Lawd help us!! What is we gon' do??!!!

Say what you want about Empire, they’re not afraid to challenge social norms. And this scene was pretty powerful. Yes, Becky played by Gabourey Sidibe was getting stroked, her boat rocked, the middle worked. Becky was getting The D. Our body shaming culture took to social media with nasty comments about her weight. It was okay for Taraji Henson and Adam Rodriguez to get it poppin’ (I’m so jealous because he is FINE!). No flip outs about that. Oh, the double standard.

The negative reactions of Gabby getting laid are both sexist and racist. We don’t do enough to celebrate big women. Truth be told, there are men and women who are attracted to big women. And not all skinny people are hot. Big women in pop culture are often portrayed as undesirable. They’re usually the dateless, funny, bff to the skinny, hot side main character. People just couldn’t handle seeing a plus-sized woman being desired. Mike & Molly is a great example of a show that kicks that sexless stereotype of plus-sized people to the curb. Mike and Molly get it poppin’ and rockin’ in the bedroom too. They turn each other on and it’s a beautiful thing.

Race is another issue. I’m calling out black folks and their internalized racism. When I saw some of the mean Tweets I couldn’t help but think about Mammy. The Mammy stereotype is that she is fat, black-skinned and asexual. You've seen Mammy on your pancake boxes. Her main pleasure is serving her master. That is not to say Becky is a Mammy. However, these ideas about her body and sexuality, I think have roots from the Mammy stereotype. People automatically associate Gabby's size and dark complexion with being non-sexual and unattractive. Gabourey Sidibe has never shied away about celebrity crushes and loving her body. She expresses her sensuality. The woman has twerked on camera. She is a sexual being—a plus-sized, chocolate-complexion, sexual being.

I actually missed this episode of Empire last night. Ironically, while everyone was losing their shit on social media I was at an event titled Writing & Performing Your Beauty When the World Calls You Ugly with Bay Area artist Jezebel Delilah X. Jezebel is a queer, big, beautiful black woman. During the talk she spoke about being body shamed and bullied because of her unique style, dark skin and sexuality. She shared that much of her healing has come through her art, the support of friends and seeing her gifts as the magic in herself.  Also, she recognized that the hurtful things people said to her were lies.
Artist Jezebel Delilah X

“Liberation and revolution is a spiritual thing,” she said.

She openly expressed her sensuality during parts of the discussion, even pointing out people in the crowd she has flirted with.  Jezebel is right. Much of what we’ve been told about what’s attractive and not are lies. Embracing yourself and ignoring what society says about you not being enough is liberating. Sexiness comes in all shapes, sizes and shades.

Empire has shaken things up with black sexuality. We’ve seen gay people getting it on, interracial sex scenes, older woman and younger guy doing the do. And now big, black women are being PLEASURED. Big women like sex. Big women have sex. 

I love it. Get it Becky!

***By the way, Mario Van Peeples directed this episode. I wonder if any of the elements of Becky's love scene were his idea. Hmmm.***



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